Angela Eagle was mocked as ‘Angie the Dyke’ at local party meeting, members say
17 members of Angela Eagle’s local Labour Party have claimed the MP was referred to as ‘Angie the Dyke’ at a meeting – but others continue to insist the incident never happened.
The MP for Wallasey was a key shadow cabinet ally of left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn until earlier this year, when she launched a leadership challenge against him – though she has since bowed out in favour of another challenger, Owen Smith.
The leadership challenge sparked an angry backlash from Corbyn supporters – with her Constituency Labour Party (CLP) suspended after allegations of “bullying, intimidation, misogyny and homophobia” directed at Eagle and her staff.
Dame Tessa Jowell last month claimed that homophobic comments were made about Ms Eagle at a CLP meeting – but the claims were strongly denied by some Corbyn-supporting members who were present.
But despite the denials, 17 people who were present at the meeting have now backed an official complaint about the homophobic abuse.
According to the Guardian, the complaint states Ms Eagle – who was not present – was derisively referred to as “Angie the Dyke” by attendee at the meeting, while a local party member was also threatened with being punched in the head.
The two accounts of the event are entirely divergent, with Corbyn-backing vice chair of the Wallessy CLP Paul Davies continuing to insist the allegations are “all lies”.
But Paul Stuart, also a vice-chair of the CLP, is one of those leading the complaint.
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The complaint says: “Meetings have become very hostile, with people attending who should not be present. Members have been heard threatening people, saying they ‘Would come back there and punch you in the head’ for having an opinion.
“This is commonplace now and goes unchallenged by anyone because of intimidation and bullying.
“When people try to leave, people stand in the way of the door and are told those trying to leave, they are not leaving and sit down.
“At our AGM, when electing the LBGT officer, there was some delegates who started limping their wrists to each other and laughing. Homophobic comments have been said by members including ‘Angie the dyke’, making reference to Angela Eagle MP.”
Eagle’s office recently cancelled advice surgeries on security advice after repeated threats of violence.
A brick was thrown through the window of Ms Eagle’s constituency office building days after she launched her bid, while one man was arrested in Scotland over death threats sent to Ms Eagle.